Josh Clarkson counsels clients on a wide variety of financial and strategic communications matters with a focus on alternative asset managers and, in particular, credit-oriented investment firms. His expertise spans corporate and executive positioning and messaging, shareholder activism and corporate governance, investor relations, friendly and contested transactions, restructuring and bankruptcy, and crisis and issues management.
He rejoined Prosek in 2019 after serving as a Vice President at Gladstone Place Partners, a boutique financial communications firm where he worked with clients across industries with an emphasis on activist preparation and engagement, corporate governance and M&A. Josh first joined Prosek in 2013 and during his career has worked with numerous leading financial services companies and executive teams across the private and traded credit, private equity, hedge fund, insurance, banking, and asset management sectors on strategic communications matters. Specific clients he has advised include Owl Rock, Castlelake, Pretium, Elliott Management, HPS Investment Partners, Ambac, Franklin Templeton, Davidson Kempner, GE, Dell Technologies and Andeavor among others.
Josh earned a JD, cum laude, from the Florida State University College of Law and a BA in Government and World Affairs from the University of Tampa.
Q & A
What are you most proud of in your public relations career?
Being able to leverage my passion for learning about my clients’ businesses to gain their trust and help them achieve their business goals while also learning from, and at times being a resource to, amazing colleagues.
Name one thing most people don’t know about you.
My guilty pleasure is reading cheesy mystery novels
How would your mother describe you?
As I filled this out while staying with her, I was able to get an on the record quote “I would say you’re very interesting.”
What are your greatest strengths as a public relations practitioner?
I genuinely enjoy getting really in the weeds on my clients’ businesses and this interest enables me to be a powerful advocate for them, even if sometimes I probably spend too long digging through filings, whitepapers and the like. Similarly, taking that knowledge and persuasively presenting it to the media, investors or other stakeholders, while building meaningful relationships with the reporters most relevant for my clients, is one of the things I love about my job.
What is your favorite food?
Sushi, or Hawaiian Pizza, or Cheeseburgers, someone really needs to open a restaurant that sells all three.
Describe your perfect client.
A firm with an interesting, complex investment approach that views communications as a meaningful part of their business, and perhaps investing, strategy and that at least occasionally finds itself having to persuade others of its point of view while someone else is arguing the other side.
What three hobbies or activities do you enjoy most?
Reading and learning new things, working out (ideally both at the same time with an audiobook or a podcast) and spending time with family and friends.
What’s your favorite part of the workday?
It’s tough to decide between those moments where a client really appreciates a piece of counsel or insight and the excitement of having a new client or assignment to get up to speed on.
What is the last book you read?
Technically it’s Good Night Moon since I read it to my one year old last for a bedtime story last night, but for my sans infant reading I’m almost done with Bankers and Bolsheviks. It’s about the financial aspects of the Russian Revolution and resulting sovereign default, with very interesting readthroughs to some of the distressed sovereign situations we work on.
Who would play you in the movie version of your life?
I’d love to say Christian Bale as he’s my favorite actor, but it’s probably closer to Jonah Hill.
What is your favorite quote?
This is a tough one, but probably “Yeah, well, you know, that’s just like, your opinion, man” because I very occasionally get to work it into conversations with journalists